50th Anniversary Spring Southern Garden Tour – 1

50 years ago

So, the time had come to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary (01 April 1974). Years ago, we would have had a big party with dozens of friends that would go on ‘til the wee hours.

Current image of us.

Those days have passed.

These days every conversation with friends seems to begin with the “Organ Recital,” the litany of aches and ills, and surgeries and pills. And face it, with fifty years of marriage behind us, we are … getting older. But we’re not dead yet.

So, instead of a party we decided on a road-trip to visit a few of Georgia’s gardens that we hoped would be in their Spring finery.

Callaway Gardens

Pine Mountain, Georgia

Azaleas, Azaleas, AzaleasLeaving our home early on Sunday morning, we drove north on Interstate 75 from central Florida. Traffic was light yet building when we got off the Interstate near Vienna, Georgia, but from that point until we arrived at Callaway Gardens, the beautiful, rolling rural roads were virtually deserted.

In 1930, Cason and Virginia Callaway were picnicking near their home close to Pine Mountain, Georgia and came across a bright orange-red, rare, azalea – Rhododendron prunifolium or the Plumleaf Azalea. The discovery led Callaway to begin the garden that would bear his name.

Azaleas, Azaleas, AzaleasInitially, the Callaways started with 2,500 acres for a weekend retreat, transforming over-farmed barren land into a showplace that opened to the public in May 1952. Today, there are over 4,000 Azaleas at The Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl Garden, and over 700 different varieties of Azaleas to dazzle the eye.

While we were there (early April), the weather was wonderfully cool and comfortable, and the azaleas in all their colors, sizes, and shapes were spectacular. There are many trail options throughout the gardens, and besides the gardens, Callaway also offers other outdoor activities. On the other hand, the small town of Pine Mountain was a charming place to stroll and spend some time shopping.

Next we head to Athens Georgia, the home of the University of Georgia and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. But before we get there, enjoy a few images of Callaway

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Beautiful photography as usual Chris! I hope you and Jeannie had a wonderful 50th. -Brian

  2. Beautiful photos and I’m so glad that you two are having a great time enjoying your journeys.

  3. I love azaleas. Thanks for sharing.

  4. What a wonderful way to celebrate your 50th! Mack and I have that coming up May 3, 2025 and I really like this adventure rather than a party. I look forward to seeing the other gardens you visited and your beautiful photography!
    Congratulations to you both!

  5. And you two “shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun!” 50 trips around the sun… and so much more to come.

  6. Always beautiful images!! I see your style shining through.

  7. Always love the descriptions of your travel adventures, perfectly complimented by your beautiful photos. Since a 50th lasts a whole year and you’re a fan of “wonderfully cool and comfortable” weather you might consider adding a trip to Wisconsin this year. We have “wonderfully cool and comfortable” every month and our flowers could start blooming any week now. It even got to 54 today, and when in the sun, out of the 19mph breeze, it was your kind of weather:)
    Happy 50!

  8. Happy happy anniversary!

  9. Happy 50th Anniversary!
    Beautiful flowers.

  10. Thanks for sharing! And Happy 50th Anniversary again!!

  11. Oh my, the azaleas were just gorgeous!

  12. Stunning pictures!

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